The USC Trojans leaving the Pac-12 has left the conference in shambles. After the Big Ten revealed that they would not accept any more Pac-12 teams, the remaining 10 reportedly decided they would stick together. It was also reported, though, that the Pac was planning on not only sticking together, but partnering with another conference.
That conference would be the Big 12, and the two conference had been reportedly talking about this move for a couple of weeks after USC and UCLA announced their leave from the Pac-12 and into the Big Ten.
ESPN college football insider Pete Thamel, however, has now reported that those talks have ended and the partnership won't happen. Thamel reported that top conference officials had at least three long Zoom calls about the partnership, but to no avail. Here's more from his reporting:
"Officials from the Big 12 told Pac-12 officials on Monday that they're no longer interested in exploring the partnership, sources said...A Big 12 source said that the deal didn't work for the conference for 'a multitude of reasons,' which included the fact that any potential deal wouldn't have driven much revenue for the league. 'It just didn't work,' the source said."- Pete Thamel, ESPN
The USC Trojans clearly left the Pac-12 at the right time.
The USC Trojans are likely ecstatic that they don't have to deal with this. They've already been hindered by the Pac-12's incompetence more than any other school.
Remember when the Trojans were hit with the Death Penalty due to Reggie Bush receiving money to LEAVE the school? Not go to the school, but leave it. Chances are, everyone reading this does remember that.
Unfortunately, though, everyone reading this also likely remembers the Pac-12 sitting back and allowing that to happen without defending SC just one bit for not doing anything wrong.
A Pac-12 source from Thamel said that the Big 12 was interested in actually fully merging the leagues together. A Big 12 source from Thamel confirmed that it was indeed the only option that the Pac-12 had given the Big 12 that could give the Big 12 a revenue boost.
That Pac-12 source said that the Big 12 was interested in doing that, but a Big 12 source told Thamel that they needed some time over the weekend to decide. They decided that a partnership would not be the right move.
The Pac-12 source said that the Pac-12 didn't want to do a full merger because the media rights deals for the two conferences were not ending at the same times. A Big 12 source told Thamel that the Pac-12 had actually expressed ways that the Pac-12 could work around this.
Both conferences are in a brutal spot. The Big 12 has battled out of this type of situation before, but now the situation is even tougher due to them having less options to rebound with the L.A. schools already moving on to another conference.
As for the Pac-12, this is a result of egregiously incompetent decision-making that has gone on for over a decade.